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Officials in the united kingdom have placed a plaque on the newly discovered tomb of Joseph Merrick, known as the “Elephant Man,” more than a century after his death.
Merrick had severe physical deformities, and spent part of his life as an attraction in a freak show. Born in the city of Leicester, he died in London in 1890 of asphyxia caused by the weight of his head as he lay down, according to the National Human Genome Institute, at the age of 27. His tragic story forms the basis of the acclaimed film “The Elephant Man.”
ELEPHANT MAN UNMARKED GRAVE DISCOVERED IN THE SAME CEMETERY AS JACK THE RIPPER AND HIS VICTIMS
The plaque of Joseph Merrick’s grave. (City of London Corporation)
During his life, He received treatment at the London Hospital, now known as the Royal London Hospital. His skeleton remains in the hospital, although his soft tissue was buried in a common grave at the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, the BBC.
Merrick’s remains were buried on 24 April 1890. Their exact whereabouts were unknown to Joanne Power-Mungovin, author of “Joseph: The Life, Times, And Places of the Elephant Man,” recently traced them on the London Cemetery.
CHILLING ‘I AM JACK THE RIPPER’ POSTCARD REFRESH
Actor John Hurt in a scene from the film ‘The Elephant Man’, 1980.
(Photo by Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images)
Vigor-Mungovin research correlated with the information in the City of London Corporation, the public burial records.
A plaque is now located on Merrick’s previously unmarked grave. “This discovery reminds us of London’s rich cultural history and the life of people in the past,” said Jeremy Simons, chairman of the City of London Corporation Environmental Services Committee, in a statement. “We will continue to work with Joanne Power-Mungovin and I am glad that this plaque will our many visitors to see the recently discovered tomb.”
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Joseph Carey Merrick
(Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)
Mary Ann Nichols and Catherine Eddowes, the first and the fourth of the victims of Jack the Ripper, are also buried in the City of London Cemetery. Since Merrick died in Whitechapel, the same London area as the Ripper, his victims, Force-Mungovin deduced that they were probably buried in the same cemetery, according to the BBC.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers